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Eyjafjallajökull Icelandic Eruption 2010


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A case study on the Eyjafjallajökull Icelandic Eruption of 2010. Suitable for GCSE, AS Level, A Level Geography and beyond. Complete with stunning images.

Eyjafjallajökull Icelandic Eruption 2010

  1. 1. Eyjafjallajökull Case Study
  2. 2. About the Volcano...• Eyjafjallajökull is the name of the glacier that sits on top of the volcano, meaning “Island Mountain Glacier”.• The volcano is actually called Eyjafjoll.• The caldera at the top of the volcano is 2.5km wide.• The volcano is 1,666m tall.
  3. 3. Location...• The volcano is on the island of Iceland, which is part of Europe and situated immediately South of the Arctic Circle.• Iceland is located on the North American plate (Moving West) and the Eurasian plate (Moving East), creating a divergent plate boundary which move apart at 1-5cm every year.• The famous Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs through the island.
  4. 4. The Eruption...• The volcano began to erupt on the 20th of March, and the main eruption occurred on the 19th of April.• It was a fissure eruption, with the lava flow more dominant on the West side but also on the East.• An ash plume rising 11,000m into the air resulted from the eruption.• The ash was fine grained, with 24% of it under 10µm which is the same as an aerosol.• The ash was distributed by high velocity jet streams above Iceland.
  5. 5. Local Icelandic Effects...• The 150m thick ice cap melted which caused major flooding to Iceland and 700 people were evacuated.• It destroyed parts of the main Route 1 road. Other roads were bulldozed to allow the flash flood water to reach the sea.• Fine ash silted the rivers caused blockages a year on.• The government paid to dredge rivers or allow them to flood and create a new path.• 20 farms were destroyed by the flooding and the ash.
  6. 6. Worldwide Effects...• The fine grain ash posed a problem to airplanes as it can enter engines or turn into a glassy substance due to the heat of the jet engine.• Britain had fine anticyclonic weather when the ash cloud existed meaning that winds dispersed the ash clouds better.
  7. 7. Secondary Worldwide Effects...• Airspace closed across Europe, with at least 17,000 flights a day being cancelled, with 6 flightless days. Overall 95,000 flights were cancelled.• This cost airlines more than $200 million a day and was estimated that $2 billion was lost overall.• Shares in Air Travel and Tourism Agencies dropped by 4%. Less fuel was needed and so 1.87million barrels were not in demand causing a loss of money in the oil industry.• It was estimated that London lost £102 million of tourist income which caused a knock on effect for workers travelling and businesses.
  8. 8. Management...• Iceland was prepared for this eruption because the first small eruption occurred on the 20th March and they were prepared for larger eruptions.• High tech equipment was used to predict the further eruptions.• Iceland had a good warning system with texts being sent to residents with a 30 minute warning.• The emergency services were well prepared.